It has been ten years… way back in 2008 I undertook my first revenue assurance training programme. Looking back, it was a significant milestone in my career.
Since that first training session I undertook as a ‘rookie’ trainer, I realise that I have trained well over five hundred people in the domain of revenue assurance and risk management. They include telecom regulators, telecom service providers, auditors, consultants, fraud vendors, revenue assurance vendors, risk management vendors, system integrators and many more.
I was naturally drawn into training, after I had left my previous employment with a fraud and RA vendor, and was wanting to find a way to use the experience I had gained from my many years in the telecom business, so that other people could benefit from the knowledge I had amassed during this time. The enjoyment I receive from training people has not diminished during those ten years. In fact, as a trainer, I find that I learn too, from the questions asked and discussions that ensue with the delegates. Education is definitely a two-way street.
Ten years is a long time and over this period I have built and formulated a training programme based on projects I have undertaken, and I’m really disappointed if I don’t get a new training module out of each new project I undertake. This has resulted in a training programme that is modular, agile and adaptable, that can be structured to allow for bite sized self-contained topics, making the training easy to deliver. More importantly, these modules help the attendees to digest the information and learn easily. This allows for greater flexibility in how the training is offered. The training programme can be fine-tuned to the end customer, ensuring it is relevant to their unique objectives. The result is that trainees feel confident to instigate discussion and interaction, which is key for a successful learning experience.
I see training as a very important resource for anyone that wishes to undertake a career in revenue assurance; it complements many different learning channels. Bodies like the Risk & Assurance Group, along with their partner MTN Group, have adopted a great initiative to share RA training and education online. This is a great step forward in formalising, strengthening and standardising training and education. In the context of revenue assurance and risk, this means broadening the understanding of important aspects of the telecoms business such as network structure, fraud scenarios and risk principles. This allows for quicker, easier and efficient methods of doing the ‘ground work’ in education, and provides a sound foundation for more in-depth training to occur afterwards. This is where I come in.
There are also other initiatives that complement training and education, including aspects like the Risk & Assurance Group’s Revenue and Cost Risk Catalogue. The objective is to collaborate as an industry by pooling our knowledge of the threats and risks that we face, their underlying root causes and ultimately, the measures that we can take to mitigate these issues.
But whatever the medium, ‘face to face’ training will not disappear, the ability of having that direct interaction between trainer and participants remains invaluable. Trainers can offer specific domain experience, historical scenarios, use cases and life experiences. Trainers can adapt, react and respond and align the training to fit the needs of the attendee’s objectives and in context to their specific business. The trainer can involve the attendees, start discussions, identify when there is confusion or even disagreement. The most successful training sessions I have held are when there is continual communication back and forth between the trainer and attendees.
My work could see me training new staff in a department of a telecom service provider, or vendor. It could be training other parts of the business outside the traditional RA and risk departments, so that they can understand the issues involved and their role in helping their businesses to drive these risks out of their business. Some vendors and consultancies are looking to transition into revenue assurance; a good example was a few weeks ago when I returned from America after training LATRO Services (pictured above). LATRO have a strategic initiative to expand their portfolio of services and needed that education, understanding and the use cases that a trainer with real-world experience can draw upon.
“Wrapping up an intensive and excellent week of Risk and Revenue Assurance training with staff from the LATRO USA team. Many thanks to Geoff Ibbett for his outstanding instruction and deep subject matter expertise that he skilfully shared with our team.”
Don Reinhart, CTO, Latro Services
The importance of training your employees has never been greater, and I am glad to see that corporations are recognising the investment in their staff with training and education initiatives to support the individual employees in their personal development. Employee development has progressed a long way in the last ten years and I have seen the benefits personally. Being around positive learning cultures has brought me into contact with some outstanding individuals who have more than reimbursed the initial time and investment spent on education by making significant contributions to the risk management domain.
Today as I sit with my colleagues at Symmetry Solutions reminiscing about my first training sessions and lessons I learned during those early days, I realise that everyone needs to continually learn, be it for their personal aspirations or career progression. Without continued learning, individuals and corporations lose their competitive advantage, including myself. The important aspect is how that education, learning and training is undertaken and achieved.
Benjamin Franklin, has a great quote…
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
That is as relevant today as it was when Benjamin said it, well over 200 years ago.